C Street / The Family / The Fellowship

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C Street/Family/Fellowship


“Usually, the Washington living arrangements of lawmakers isn’t of much public interest A summer of scandal has changed that.”

— David Goldstein & Dave Helling
Washington gossip
centers on one address

Kansas City Star, July 24, 2009

“If you haven’t heard about ‘C-Street’ yet… or ‘The Family,’ or ‘The Fellowship’ then let me tell you its a little wacky and I have a feeling its only going to get wackier.”

— Sarah Burris
Kansas Electeds Tied to
Conservative Cult

Everyday Citizen, July 21, 2009

SHARLET: I’ve got lots of letters from people saying this has got to be a hoax, or please tell me it’s a hoax or curiously from people who know a little too much to be saying the things they were saying.

— Anthony Lappé
Meet ‘The Family’
Guerrilla News Network
June 13, 2003

The following article is adapted from Wikipedia, with factual corrections, other/additional (and far fewer superfluous) links, quotes, and multimedia:

The Family is a secretive network founded in 1935 and since known by several names, including The Fellowship, The Fellowship Foundation, National Fellowship Council, Fellowship House, The International Foundation, National Committee for Christian Leadership, International Christian Leadership, and the National Leadership Council.

The organization has operated under many guises, some active, some defunct: National Committee for Christian Leadership, International Christian Leadership, the National Leadership Council, Fellowship House, the Fellowship Foundation, the National Fellowship Council, the International Foundation. These groups are intended to draw attention away from the Family, and to prevent it from becoming, in the words of one of the Family’s leaders, “a target for misunderstanding.” The Family’s only publicized gathering is the National Prayer Breakfast… regarded by the Family as merely a tool in a larger purpose…

It is an international movement that claims to be centered on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ as the common ground across all religious and political divisions.[1]

The Family is led by Doug Coe and most widely known for organizing the National Prayer Breakfast, at which every President of the United States since President Dwight D. Eisenhower, including President Barack Obama in 2009, has spoken.[2][3][4]

The Family believes that the elite win power by the will of God, who uses them for his purposes. Its mission is to help the powerful understand their role in God’s plan. The Family represents “Jesus plus nothing,” as its leader, Doug Coe, puts it, the “totalitarianism of God,” in the words of an early Family leader, a vision that encompasses not just social issues but also the kind of free-market fundamentalism that is the real object of devotion for core members and insiders.

At the heart of the Family’s spiritual advice for its proxies in Congress is the conviction that the market’s invisible hand represents the guidance of God, and that God wants his “new chosen” to look out for one another.

The Fellowship is associated with many influential American leaders, including many current and former Senators and members of the United States Congress, executive branch officials, military officers, including several Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the heads of humanitarian aid organizations, as well as foreign leaders and ambassadors.

Article continues after video.

SHARLET: The goal is an “invisible” world organization led by Christ — that’s what they aspire to. They are very explicit about this if you look in their documents, and I spent a lot of time researching in their archives. Their goal is a worldwide invisible organization. That’s their word, and that’s important because it sounds so crazy.

— Anthony Lappé
Meet ‘The Family’
Guerrilla News Network
June 13, 2003

According to David Kuo, former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush and Deputy Director of the White House Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives, “The Fellowship’s reach into governments around the world is almost impossible to overstate or even grasp.”[5] Core members and associates of the Fellowship deny that the Fellowship exists.[6]

The Fellowship has been the subject of controversy for its secrecy, involvement in sex scandals, ties to third-world dictators and oppressive regimes, and approving references to Adolf Hitler, terrorist and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, Cambodian despot Pol Pot, and the Mafia. It reportedly is built on the “Hitler Concept,” which is a covenant amongst a leadership cadre comprised of members of a political avant garde.

Article continues after video.



Prayer Breakfast Movement
   National Prayer Breakfast
   Camp David Middle East accords and other international conflicts

Core Members, Associates and Close Friends of the Fellowship
   Douglas Coe and Family
   Associates and Close Friends

Affiliated Organizations
   Three Swallows Foundation
   Wilberforce Foundation
   International Center for Religion and Diplomacy
   Canadian Fellowship Foundation
   Christians in Parliament
   Jerusalem Summit
   Trees for the Future
   National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise
   Cornerstone Development Ltd.
   World Concern
   Project Mercy
   Timothy Trust
   Associacion Dessarrollo en Democracia
   Southeast DC Partners
   World Vision
   Trinity Forum and Academy
   Youth with a Mission
   Prison Fellowship International
   CS Lewis Institute
   Christian Embassy
   McLean Bible Church
   The Falls Church
   Officers’ Christian Fellowship

The Fellowship Property Holdings
   C Street Center
   The Woodmont Enclave and Other Properties
   Cedar Point Farm
   Other Properties

   President Ford, the Watergate, Charles Colson, and the Fellowship
   Senator Mark O. Hatfield
   Extramarital Affairs and Other Unethical Conduct
   Senator John Ensign
   Governor Mark Sanford
   Former Representative Chip Pickering
   Senator David Durenberger
   William Aramony
   References to Hitler and the Mafia
   Affiliations with Dictators and Oppressive Regimes
   Attack on separation of church and state

See also:
   Further Reading


The Fellowship’s prayer group movement was founded in the United States in 1935 by Abraham Vereide, a Norwegian immigrant and traveling preacher who had been working with the city’s poor in Seattle.

Vereide and others opposed President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and was worried that socialist politicians were about to take over Seattle’s municipal government.[3][7]

When Abram [Abraham] came to his office next time, Henry Ford gleefully called out, “Vereide, I’ve got it! I’ve got it!” “What have you got?” “I found the release that you spoke of. I’ve made my surrender. The only thing that matters is God’s will. I’m anchored in Jesus Christ.”

— Norman Grubb
Broadening Horizons
Incidents in the Life
of a Modern Viking

Prominent members of Seattle’s business community recognized his success with those who were “down and out” and asked him to give spiritual direction to their group who were “up and out.” He organized prayer breakfasts for politicians and businessmen that included anti-communism and anti-union discussions. Vereide was subsequently invited to set up similar meetings among political and business leaders in San Francisco and Chicago.

Vereide’s principal collaborator in France was Edmond Michelet, five-time minister under President Charles de Gaulle.

In 1942, Vereide began to hold small and discreet prayer breakfasts for the U.S. House of Representatives. The next year, the Senate began holding prayer breakfast meetings. The Prayer Breakfast Movement was formally incorporated as the National Committee for Christian Leadership (NCCL).

The Family likes to call itself a “Christian Mafia,” but it began 74 years ago as an anti-New Deal coalition of businessmen convinced that organized labor was under the sway of Satan. The Great Depression, they believed, was a punishment from God for what they viewed as FDR’s socialism. The Family’s goal was the “consecration” of America to God, first through the repeal of New Deal reforms, then through the aggressive expansion of American power during the Cold War. They called this a “Worldwide Spiritual Offensive,” but in Washington, it amounted to the nation’s first fundamentalist lobby. Early participants included Southern Sens. Strom Thurmond, Herman Talmadge and Absalom Willis Robertson — Pat Robertson’s father. Membership lists stored in the Family’s archive at the Billy Graham Center at evangelical Wheaton College in Illinois show active participation at any given time over the years by dozens of congressmen.

— Jeff Sharlet
Sex and power inside
“the C Street House”

Salon.com, July 21, 2009

In 1944, NCCL changed its name to International Christian Leadership (ICL). Vereide also made plans to move his headquarters to Washington, DC. In 1944, his first ICL Fellowship House was established in a private home at 6523 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.

In 1945, Vereide held his first joint Senate-House prayer breakfast meeting. Following the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Vereide convened a prayer breakfast attended by Senators H. Alexander Smith (R-NJ) and Lister Hill (D-AL), and World Report publisher David Lawrence.

In January, 1947, Vereide sponsored the first Washington meeting of ICCL. Representatives from the United States, Canada, Britain, Norway, Hungary, Egypt and China. In 1949, Vereide sent Wallace Haines to represent ICL at a meeting of German Christians held at Castle Mainau in Switzerland. Haines would become Vereide’s personal emissary to Europe.

In 1952, Haines was replaced by anti-Communist Karl Leyasmeyer.

In 1953, Vereide made his first entrée into the White House when President Dwight D. Eisenhower agreed to attend the first Presidential Prayer Breakfast. By that time, Vereide’s congressional core members grew to include such senators as Republicans Frank Carlson (R-KS) and Karl Mundt (R-SD). Both were virulent anti-Communists who established close ties with Vereide and his worldwide anti-Communist movement. Vereide also became very close to Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina (R-SC), the man who led the Dixiecrat revolt in 1948.

In 1955, Pentagon officials secretly met at Fellowship House in Washington, D.C. to plan a worldwide anti-communism propaganda campaign endorsed by the CIA. Among other things, the Fellowship financed a film called “Militant Liberty” that was used abroad by the Department of Defense.[6]

John C. Broger, 1977: Pentagon's radio, TV czar faces charges of corruptionThe corresponding Militant Liberty theology was designed by evangelist John C. Broger, who was brought to the Pentagon by Admiral Arthur W. Radford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as part of a program of “personal evangelism in the political rather than the religious field.”[8]

The program compared democracy’s “sensitive individual conscience” to communism’s “annihilated individual conscience” for third world nations and provided a “political religion,” according to its proponents, for revitalizing America’s national character.

Broger had been instrumental in establishing the Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC) in 1945 as an Asian radio ministry that would bring the Gospel to China and other countries.[9] Broger would go on to become President of the Biblical Counseling Foundation (BCF). Sig Mickelson, the former director of Radio Free Europe (RFE), has confirmed that RFE and FEBC were funded by the CIA.

Admiral Arthur W. Radford, Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, proposed that the first article of the [the 1955 Code of Conduct for Members of the Armed Forces of the United States] be a guiding precept for all Americans. The admiral explained to a convention of evangelicals that, “…when you pledge: I serve in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. These words are the key to the part played by the mind and the spirit in our national security.”

Admiral Radford used his position on the [Joint Chiefs of Staff] to turn that agency into the chief advocate of the Code of Conduct and its companion program, Militant Liberty, for both an international and domestic audience.

John C. Broger, an evangelist before Radford brought him into the DOD, designed Militant Liberty as a program of “personal evangelism in the political rather than the religious field.”

The controversial program compared democracy’s “sensitive individual conscience” to communism’s “annihilated individual conscience” for third world nations and provided a “political religion,” according to its proponents, for revitalizing America’s national character.

After the JCS hired a public relations firm and marketed Militant Liberty across the nation, its officials even traveled to Hollywood in 1955 to urge John Wayne and John Ford to incorporate Militant Liberty themes into motion pictures. In January of the next year the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, following the DOD’s direction, held a national forum on how to disseminate the Code of Conduct and Broger’s special brand of evangelical democracy to the nation’s homes, schools, and churches.

The Religious Education Association of America recommended that its members include “lessons on responsibility to God and Country into Church curriculum.” Even a “Code of an American Mother” was presented which proclaimed, “I am an American mother, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to impart to my child the principles which made my country free. Together we will trust in our God.”

While the armed forces embraced the Code of Conduct, they quickly rejected Militant Liberty because of its strident civil religious message. To Radford’s dismay, military academies refused to incorporate Militant Liberty into their curriculum. The Marine Corps spoke for a number of critics when it argued that the concept was inappropriate for service personnel as it was based on a fear approach and far too much like political indoctrination.

But when links between political extremists and Militant Liberty (as well as connections between some members of the military and the radical right in the notorious cold war seminars of the early 1960s) caught the attention of investigative reporters it became extremely difficult for evangelicals in the military (whether religious or political) to pursue their civilian efforts further.

More about John C. Broger, Arthur W. Radford, “Militant Liberty,” and the Far East Broadcasting Company:

Overseas Media Corporation et al., Appellants, v. Robert S. McNamara, Secretary of Defense, Appellee
United States Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit
October 3, 1967

Fighting for the Apocalypse?
Conspiracy Times, April 21, 2007

Far East Broadcasting, Inc. – Collection 059
Billy Graham Center Archives

Far East Broadcasting Corporation International (FEBC): Ministries

American Evangelicals and the U.S. Military 1942-1993
Anne C. Loveland, 1997

During the 1960s the Family forged relationships between the U.S. government and some of the most anti-Communist (and dictatorial) elements within Africa’s postcolonial leadership. The Brazilian dictator General Costa e Silva, with Family support, was overseeing regular fellowship groups for Latin American leaders, while, in Indonesia, General Suharto (whose tally of several hundred thousand “Communists” killed marks him as one of the century’s most murderous dictators) was presiding over a group of fifty Indonesian legislators. During the Reagan Administration the Family helped build friendships between the U.S. government and men such as Salvadoran general Carlos Eugenios Vides Casanova, convicted by a Florida jury of the torture of thousands, and Honduran general Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, himself an evangelical minister, who was linked to both the CIA and death squads before his own demise. “We work with power where we can,” the Family’s leader, Doug Coe, says, “build new power where we can’t.”

By 1957, ICL had established 125 groups in 100 cities, with 16 groups in Washington, D.C. alone. Around the world, it had set up another 125 groups in Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Northern Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Ethiopia (where Emperor Haile Selassie gave ICL property in Addis Ababa to build its African headquarters), India, South Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Guatemala, Cuba, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Bermuda.

ICL’s international activities coincided with activities in countries where the CIA was particularly active — an obvious by-product of the close cooperation between Vereide and the CIA’s Allen Dulles and James Jesus Angleton. Angleton and his close associate, Miles Axe Copeland, Jr. (father of Miles Copeland of The Police), favored using private businessmen to conduct operations that the CIA was barred from conducting statutorily. The ICL fit the bill very nicely.

In 1971, the District of Columbia Department of Finance and Revenue granted tax-exempt status to International Christian Leadership, Inc. for its property, known as Fellowship House, located at 2817 Woodland Dr., N.W. in Washington, D.C.

In the request for tax-exempt status, Douglas Coe listed some of the activities that took place at Fellowship House, such as a Tuesday morning bi-monthly prayer meeting for Foreign Service wives; a Thursday morning “Mattie Vereide Bible Study” (Mattie was Abraham’s wife); “training and orientation activities,” including “regular sessions with associates from around the world”; “how to run small groups;” “how to set up prayer breakfasts”; “regular dinners involving the leadership of the world”; and “meetings to which students, blacks and other groups are invited by business and government leaders to discuss the importance of a strong spiritual foundation in our country.”


The Fellowship’s prayer group movement in the United States is incorporated in the State of Illinois as a 501(c)(3) organization operating under the name “the Fellowship Foundation, Inc.” Its mission statement is:

“To develop and maintain an informal association of people banded together, to go out as ‘ambassadors of reconciliation,’ modeling the principles of Jesus, based on loving God and loving others. To work with the leaders of other nations, and as their hearts are touched, the poor, the oppressed, the widows and the youth of their country will be impacted in a positive manner. It is said that youth groups will be developed under the thoughts of Jesus, including loving others as you want to be loved.”

Since this building is registered as a non-profit church with 501c3 status, has the IRS confirmed that there has been no political activity in the “church? …

Has there been an investigation into its tax status? Do these elected officials live tax free in this building? Who is donating to this “Church?” Lobbyists, CEO’s of major corporations, or institutions in which these elected officials are making laws about or sending earmarks to?

— Sarah Burris
Kansas Electeds Tied to Conservative Cult
Everyday Citizen, July 21, 2009

While it conducts no public fundraising, the Fellowship Foundation has reported significant anonymous donations that are made each year:

• 2001: over $10.3 million
• 2002: over $10.8 million
• 2003: over $11.4 million
• 2004: over $12.1 million
• 2005: over $14.7 million
• 2006: over $13.4 million

The Fellowship also has reported plus membership fees of at least $1.1 million in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

Prayer Breakfast Movement

The primary activity of the Fellowship is to develop small support groups for politicians, including Senators and Members of Congress, Executive Branch officials, military officers, foreign leaders and dignitaries, businesspersons, and certain other influential individuals interested in the teachings of Jesus and the code of silence which protects what is said during Fellowship meeting. Prayer groups have met in the Pentagon and at the Department of Defense.[10]
National Prayer Breakfast

The Fellowship is best known for organizing the National Prayer Breakfast, held each year on the first Thursday of February in Washington, D.C.[3][4]

The truth is that the Prayer Breakfast is perhaps the most bi-partisan, ecumenical, profoundly bland event in the Washington calendar. The Family likes it that way. As Coe, whom Time dubbed the “stealth persuader” in its list of the 25 most powerful evangelicals once put it, the Prayer Breakfast is “not even one tenth of one tenth of what we really do.” Rather, the Family considers it a recruiting event: 4000 dignitaries attend the breakfast, some lesser number attend the three days of seminars for oil, banking, and defense execs (and the pols who love them) on the Jesus-plus-nothing approach to business and diplomacy, and a few of those graduate into prayer cells, modeled, according to the Family’s internal documents, on a revolutionary vanguard…

— Jeff Sharlet
Everybody Loves Jesus
Talk To Action
February 2, 2007

First held in 1953, the event is now attended by over 3,400 guests including dignitaries from many nations. The President of the United States typically makes an address at the breakfast. The event is officially hosted by members of Congress. Democrats and Republicans serve on the organizing committee, and leadership alternates each year between the House and the Senate.

• In 2006, the event was co-chaired by former Senator Norm Coleman, R-MN, and Senator Mark Pryor, D-AR. Speakers included King Abdullah II of Jordan and celebrity humanitarian/musician Paul Hewson (Bono).[11]

• In 2007, Members of Congress Emanuel Cleaver II (D. Missouri) and Jo Ann Davis (R. Virginia) co-chaired the National Prayer Breakfast. Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the Human Genome Project, gave the message.

• In 2008, Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., and Sen. Mike Enzi, R-WYO, co-chaired the event. Ward Brehm, who chairs the United States African Development Foundation, delivered the keynote speech.[12]

• In 2009, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair gave the keynote address.[13]

Camp David Middle East Accords and Other International Conflicts

The Fellowship was a behind-the-scenes player at the Camp David Middle East accords in 1978, working with Jimmy Carter to issue a worldwide call to prayer with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.[6]

President Carter hosted former Senator Harold E. Hughes, the President of the Fellowship Foundation, and Doug Coe, for a luncheon at the White House on September 26, 1978.[14] Six weeks later, President Carter and the First Lady traveled by Marine helicopter to Cedar Point Farm, Hughes’ home on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where he placed a telephone call to Menachim Begin.[15]

Members of the Fellowship prayer have been active in reconciliation efforts between the warring leaders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, and many other similar conflicts around the world. In 2001, the Fellowship helped arrange a secret meeting at The Cedars between Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila and Rwandan President Paul Kagame — one of the first of a series of discreet meetings between the two African leaders that eventually led to the signing of a peace accord in July 2002.[6]

The Fellowship has been criticized, however, for associating with dictators and human rights abusers such as Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova of El Salvador, Artur da Costa e Silva of Brazil, School of Americas alumnus Gustavo Alvarez Martinez of Honduras, and President Suharto of Indonesia.[16]

Core Members, Associates and Close Friends of the Fellowship

Douglas Coe and Family

As a sophomore enrolled at Willamette University in Oregon, the Fellowship’s eventual leader, Douglas Coe approached then-political science professor and dean of students Mark Hatfield, in order to ask for permission to start a chapter of an evangelical student association.

Whenever a sufficiently large crop of God’s soldiers was bunked up at Ivanwald, Doug Coe made a point of stopping by for dinner. Doug was, in spirit, Christ’s closest disciple, the master bumper; the brothers viewed his visit as far more important than that of any senator or prime minister.

Coe has become a spiritual advisor for many world leaders who have participated in one of the Fellowship’s many prayer breakfast “cells,” including Hillary Clinton.[17][18] When asked about Doug Coe’s influence on Hillary Clinton, however, people close to her told NBC News in 2008 that she does not consider him one of her leading spiritual advisors and that Senator Clinton has never contributed to Coe’s group, is not a member of the Fellowship, had never heard of any of the controversial sermons obtained by NBC News, and does not consider Doug Coe to be her minister.[19] President George H.W. Bush referred to Coe as “an ambassador of faith.”[6]

Douglas Coe’s sons, David Coe and Timothy Coe, also are employees of the organization and receive salaries of $110,000, as well as the related Wilberforce Foundation.

David Coe, who is considered to be the heir to the Fellowship leadership, has suggested that members of the Family “are here to learn how to rule the world.”[16]

Associates and Close Friends

A large number of United States Senators and Members of Congress, primarily Republican, as well as high-ranking military leaders, are known as either “associates” or “close friends” of the Fellowship. Many have resided at properties owned by the Fellowship or an affiliated entity such as Youth with a Mission (YWAM) where they pay below-market rents. The low level of rent, tax-free status of the Fellowship, and secrecy of its members which includes not disclosing the scandals of its politician members, among others, has raised concerns.

Boarders at the C Street Center currently include Senators Tom Coburn, R-OK; John Ensign, R-Nev.; and Jim DeMint, R-SC; and Representatives Zach Wamp, R-TN; Bart Stupak, D-Mich.; Heath Shuler, D-N.C.; and Mike Doyle, D-Pa.[20][21][22] (It has been reported that Joseph Pitts, R-PA, was a resident; this is in question.)

Other members, some of whom have lived at C Street Center or the Cedars, include Senators Sam Brownback, R-KS; Mark Pryor, D-AR; Charles Grassley, R-IA; James Inhofe, R-OK; Susan Collins, R-ME, and Bill Nelson, D-FL; Representatives Ben Nelson, D-NE; Frank Wolf, R-VA; Todd Tiahrt, R-KS; Mike McIntyre, D-NC; John R. Carter, R-TX and Ander Crenshaw, R-FL; as well as former Senators Pete Domenici, R-NM; Don Nickles, R-OK; George Allen, R-VA; Conrad Burns, R-MT; and Mark O. Hatfield, R-OR; and former Representatives Steve Largent, R-OK; Mark Sanford, R-SC; Chip Pickering, R-MS, Ed Bryant, R-TN, John E. Baldacci, R-ME, and J.C. Watts, R-OK.[16]

Senators Ensign, Inhofe, Brownback (a former C Street resident), and Susan Collins, R-ME, and former Senators George Allen and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have attended the Wednesday morning Senate Prayer Breakfast at the C Street Center. Former Attorney General Ed Meese under Ronald Reagan regularly presided over other prayer breakfasts.[16]

Men under the Family’s religio-political counsel include, in addition to Ensign, Coburn and Pickering, Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham, both R-S.C.; James Inhofe, R-Okla., John Thune, R-S.D., and recent senators and high officials such as John Ashcroft, Ed Meese, Pete Domenici and Don Nickles. Over in the House there’s Joe Pitts, R-Penn., Frank Wolf, R-Va., Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., and John R. Carter, R-Texas. Historically, the Family has been strongly Republican, but it includes Democrats, too. There’s Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, for instance, a vocal defender of putting the Ten Commandments in public places, and Sen. Mark Pryor, the pro-war Arkansas Democrat responsible for scuttling Obama’s labor agenda.

— Jeff Sharlet
Sex and power inside
“the C Street House”

Salon.com, July 21, 2009

Two former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force Gen. David Jones and General Richard Myers, are members as are former Marine Corps Commandant and NATO commander General James L. Jones, Iran-contra figure Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North, and Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin, the military head of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld‘s intelligence branch.[23]

In 2003, Boykin, in a speech to the First Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, Florida, referred to the United States as a “Christian nation” and, that in reference to a Somali warlord, he stated, “I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.”[6] [See also: "Christian Chaplains Proselytizing Muslims: 'Growing' Controversy?," Lavender Newswire, June 22, 2009]

Watergate cover-up conspirator Charles Colson, is a member of the Fellowship. Colson later went on to found Prison Ministries International, was introduced to Doug Coe and the Fellowship, by Tom Phillips, the CEO of Raytheon, where Colson once worked as Raytheon’s general counsel before joining the Nixon administration.

David J. Gribbin III, a trained minister and insider at the Cedars, is a high school friend of former Vice President Dick Cheney and long-time assistant. Gribbin served as Chief of Staff for Congressman Cheney, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs under Cheney during the Administration of George H. W. Bush, Vice President for Government Relations of Halliburton Co. when Cheney was CEO (1995-2000); and director of relations to Congress for the Bush-Cheney transition team (2000-2001).[24][25] Gribbon, who became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, led Capitol Hill prayer services while working for Cheney in the House of Representatives.[26]

Lt. Gen. Claude Kicklighter, the Inspector General for the Department of Defense in 2007 and 2008, is identified as the Secretary of the Fellowship Foundation on the IRS Form 990 for 1999.

Richard McElheny, Assistant Secretary for Trade Development, Department of Commerce, under the Reagan Administration, is identified as the Vice President of the Fellowship Foundation in its 2000 Form 990.[27]

David Laux, who formerly worked in the Office of Political Affairs of the National Security Council under President Ronald Reagan in 1992, and later in the NSC Asian and Pacific Affairs Office, East Asian Directorate (1983-1987), former Director of the American Institute of Taiwan, a non-profit corporation that serves is the representative office of the United States in Taiwan (Directors of AIT are of the same rank as ambassador and receive diplomatic privileges in that capacity), and Chairman of the Taiwan-USA Economic Council, has been identified as a longtime director of the Fellowship Foundation.[28]

Affiliated Organizations

Three Swallows Foundation

Between 1998 and 2007, the “International Foundation” located at 133 C Street, SE in Washington, D.C., received grants totaling $1,777,650 from billionaire Paul N. Temple‘s Three Swallows Foundation, including $203,500 in 2006,[29] and $145,000 in 2007.[30] Temple, a graduate of Harvard Law School, is a former executive of Esso (Exxon) and the founder of the Three Swallows Foundation and the Institute of Noetic Sciences.

Wilberforce Foundation

According to IRS Form 990 filings, the Fellowship Foundation is related to and shares common management with the Wilberforce Foundation (a.k.a. Wilberforce Project and Wilberforce Forum), which is part of the Charles W. Colson Center for Biblical Worldview.[31]

[T]he Values Action Team … is composed of representatives from leading organizations on the religious right. James Dobson’s Focus on the Family sends an emissary, as does the Family Research Council, the Eagle Forum, the Christian Coalition, the Traditional Values Coalition, Concerned Women for America and many more. Like the Fellowship prayer cell, everything that is said is strictly off the record, and even the groups themselves are forbidden from discussing the proceedings. It’s a little “cloak-and-dagger,” says a Brownback press secretary. The VAT is a war council, and the enemy, says one participant, is “secularism.”

The VAT coordinates the efforts of fundamentalist pressure groups, unifying their message and arming congressional staffers with the data and language they need to pass legislation. Working almost entirely in secret, the group has directed the fights against gay marriage and for school vouchers, against hate-crime legislation and for “abstinence only” education. … When it comes to “impacting policy,” says Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, “day to day, the VAT is instrumental.”

— Jeff Sharlet
God’s Senator
Rolling Stone
January 25, 2006

The Wilberforce Foundation (which has received funding from the John Templeton Foundation, one-million-dollar donor to California’s anti-marriage equality initiative, Proposition 8) is a conservative Christian political and social think tank and action group particularly active in the promotion of “intelligent design” in education and in biotechnology and bioethics issues, such as human cloning and stem cell research that is closely allied with the Discovery Institute, center of the intelligent design movement, with the two sharing a number of fellows and advisors. It describes itself as the “Christian worldview thinking, teaching, and advocacy arm of Charles Colson’s Prison Fellowship.”[32]

The address of the Wilberforce Foundation has been listed as 204 Mount Oak Place, Annapolis, Maryland,[33]which was the residence of Timothy Coe, the Vice President of the Wilberforce Foundation. In 2007, Wilberforce Foundation purchased 204 Mount Oak Place for $1,100,000 to be used as a residence for young men.[31]

David Coe also is identified as the Treasurer and employee of the Wilberforce Foundation,[31] resides in a nearby home on Mt. Oak Place, as does salaried Wilberforce Foundation employee and Fellowship member and director, Marty Sherman.

International Center for Religion and Diplomacy

Dr. Douglas M. Johnston is a board member of the Fellowship Foundation and the founder and President of the International Center for Religion & Diplomacy, Inc. (ICRD) in Washington, D.C.[6] The mission statement of the ICRD is to “address identity-based conflicts that exceed the reach of traditional diplomacy by incorporating religion as part of the solution.” Dr. Johnson is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and the former Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Office of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).[34]

Dr. Johnson also served as a planning officer in the President’s Office of Emergency Preparedness, Director of Policy Planning and Management in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy.[35]

In academia, Dr. Johnson taught international affairs and security at Harvard University and was the founder and first director of the Kennedy School’s Executive Program in National and International Security.[36]

William Aramony, the disgraced former head of the United Way, who has been linked to the Fellowship, serves on the Advisory Council of the ICRD,[37] as does Ron Nikkel, the President of Charles Colson’s Prison Fellowship International.

Canadian Fellowship Foundation

The Canadian Fellowship Foundation (CFF) is a federally chartered charitable foundation in Canada that funds the activities of the Canadian National Prayer Breakfast held annually on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.[38][39] The CFF is headed by Jack Murta, an 18-year member of the Canadian Parliament, which including two Cabinet Minister Posts.[40]

Christians in Parliament

Christians in Parliament (CiP) is the sponsor of the annual prayer breakfast at the Palace of Westminster which houses the Parliament of the United Kingdom in London. CiP is open to Members of Parliament, Peers, and staff in the Palace of Westminster, and exists as an umbrella for the expression of the Christian faith in Parliament.[41]

It activities include informal prayer and Bible study groups, and formal services in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft. According to its website, Christians In Parliament receives assistance from World Vision/World Vision UK, a sister organization of the Fellowship.

Jerusalem Summit

Fellowship core member Marty Sherman, serves as Academic Director of the International Advisory Board of Jerusalem Summit. Gary Bauer, President of American Values, is the Chairman. Bauer served as Ronald Reagan‘s Undersecretary of Education from 1982 to 1987, and as an advisor on domestic policy from 1987 to 1988. While serving under Reagan, he was named Chairman of President Reagan’s Special Working Group on the Family. Bauer also serves on the Executive Board of Christians United for Israel, a lobby group headed by John Hagee, Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, and President and CEO of John Hagee Ministries, which telecasts his national radio and television ministry.

Trees for the Future

Trees for the Future is listed as a sister organization in the Fellowship Foundation’s IRS Form 990 for 1999.[42]

National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise

National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise is listed as a sister organization in the Fellowship Foundation’s IRS Form 990 for 1999.[42]

Cornerstone Development Ltd.

Cornerstone Development Ltd. is identified as a sister organization in the Fellowship Foundation’s IRS Form 990 for 1999.[42]

Cornerstone Leadership Academy was established in Uganda in 1988 to help in the rebuilding and development of the nation.[43] In recent years, it has also begun work in Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and Southern Sudan. Michael Timmis, the Chairman of Chuck Colson’s Prison Fellowship International, John Riordan, and Tim Kreutter worked together for seven years during the start-up phase.

World Concern

World Concern is identified as a sister organization in the Fellowship Foundation’s IRS Form 990 for 1999.[42]

Project Mercy

Project Mercy is identified as a sister ministry in the Fellowship Foundation’s IRS Form 990 for 1999.[42] Project Mercy is an International Emergency Relief and Community Development Ministry established shortly after Marta Gabre-Tsadick, Executive Director, her husband, Demeke Tekle-Wold, and family escaped to the United States from the Communist regime in Ethiopia in the early 1970′s.[44] The mission began in 1977 with the assistance of Pastor Charles and Fran Dickinson.

Timothy Trust

Timothy Trust is identified as a sister organization in the Fellowship Foundation’s IRS Form 990 for 1999.[42] Timothy Trust is affiliated with Open Door Fellowship, a church founded by Bill Thrall, and his organization known as Leadership Catalyst (LCI).

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Associacion Desarrollo en Democracia

Associacion Dessarrollo en Democracia is identified as a sister organization in the Fellowship Foundation’s IRS Form 990 for 1999.[42]

Southeast DC Partners
[45] Its headquarters is located at the “Southeast White House,” located at 2909 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, which is owned by the Fellowship Foundation.[46] Kairos, an organization of young adults at who participate in the Outreach Ministry of The Falls Church, conducts the ministry of Southeast DC Partners.[47]

World Vision

World Vision is identified as a sister organization in the Fellowship Foundation’s IRS Form 990 for 2001.[45]

Trinity Forum and Academy

The Fellowship also has ties to Trinity Forum, Inc., an organization founded by Paul Klaasen, the Chairman and CEO of Sunrise Senior Living, whose mission is to encourage and assist national leaders in order to deepen, integrate, and apply their faith in the private and public lives.[48]

Meese has not held a government job for nearly two decades, but through the Fellowship he’s more influential than ever, credited with brokering the recent nomination of John Roberts to head the Supreme Court.

— Jeff Sharlet
God’s Senator
Rolling Stone
January 25, 2006

Ed Meese, who hosted Fellowship breakfast prayer meetings at the Cedars in Arlington, Virginia, is a trustee of Trinity Forum.[48]

Trinity Forum Academy operates from the farm house located at the site of Osprey Point Retreat & Conference Center, formerly known as a Cedar Point Farm, which was the home of former Senator and Fellowship president Harold E. Hughes.

Osprey Point is located in Royal Oak on the Tred Avon River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, approximately 90 minutes from Washington, D.C.[49][50], near riverfront estates that are owned by former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Most importantly, YWAM and Campus Crusade For Christ are part of a militant stream that has erupted out of Pentecostal and charismatic Christianity, which fielded the GOP vice presidential candidate in the 2008 election: Sarah Palin. Campus Crusade maintains a sub-ministry that focuses it evangelizing efforts on Pentagon members and politicians and staffers on Capital Hill.

Youth with a Mission

Loren Cunningham, President and founder of Youth with a Mission International Inc., an affiliate of which owns the C Street Center (and formerly owned the property known as Potomac Point in Arlington, Virginia) has described a vision of achieving world domination by taking over key sectors of society which include government.[51]

In a 2008 promotional video, “Reclaiming 7 Mountains of Culture”, YWAM Founder Loren Cunningham describes a vision he shared along with the late Campus Crusade For Christ founder Bill Bright and late Christian theologian Francis Schaeffer, in which Christian fundamentalists could achieve world domination by taking over key sectors of society such as government, along with business, media, and education.[51]

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Richard Dennee, a missionary from The Falls Church, serves the youth of Northern Ireland through the YWAM ministry.[52]

The Youth With A Mission Virginia website mentions a “permanent ministry center at 133 C St. in Washington.”[53]

Prison Fellowship International

A “key figure,” says Brownback, in the power structure of Christian Washington, Colson is widely acknowledged as the Christian right’s leading intellectual. He is the architect behind faith-based initiatives, the negotiator who forged the Catholic-evangelical unity known as co-belligerency, and the man who drove sexual morality to the top of the movement’s agenda.

— Jeff Sharlet
God’s Senator
Rolling Stone
January 25, 2006

As discussed below, Charles (Chuck) Colson, the founder and President of Prison Fellowship International, was a member of a Fellowship prayer group with Senator Harold Hughes, who later became the President of the Fellowship Foundation, Senator Mark Hatfield, and Congressman Albert Quie. Colson also met with Douglas Coe after being indicted for his role in the Watergate coverup. Colson has boasted of the Family as a “veritable underground of Christ’s men all through government.”

CS Lewis Institute

According to the Fellowship Foundation IRS Form 990 for 1999, the Fellowship rented a property located at 1904 N. Adams Street in Arlington, Virginia to the CS Lewis Institute.[42] The Form 990 lists the address of the Fellowship at 1910 N. Adams Street.

Christian Embassy

Christian Embassy International, an affiliate of Campus Crusade for Christ, organizes small groups that are “safe, inviting places where people get together on a weekly basis to talk, laugh and learn from one another about how to live out personal beliefs in the workplace.”[54] Christian Embassy has 12 separate small groups for Members of Congress and congressional staffers. Sam McCullough of McLean Bible Church runs the Capitol Hill mission.[55]

McLean Bible Church

McLean Bible Church has close ties with the Fellowship and conducts services at several locations, including Chuck Colson’s Prison Fellowship Ministries Building in Lansdowne, Virginia. McLean Bible Church is led by Senior Pastor Lon Solomon who is a director of Jews for Jesus. Kenneth Starr [see also: "Yes, They’re Going to Try to Nullify Our Marriages...," Lavender Newswire, December 19, 2008] is a member of McLean Bible Church, as are Dan Coats, Senator Don Nickles, Don Evans, Senator John Thune, former Senator Elizabeth Dole, R-NC; and Bush White House staffers.[56] “It’s really because of Lon Solomon that I go,” according to Senator Jim Inhofe, D-OK.

The Falls Church

The Fellowship has ties to The Falls Church, whose members include Fred Barnes, executive editor of the Weekly Standard magazine, and Michael Gerson, former chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush and a Washington Post columnist. The Falls Church periodically has received grants as a supportive ministry from the Fellowship Foundation.[42]

Falls Church Anglican split from the Episcopal Church in December 2006.

Officers’ Christian Fellowship

The Officers’ Christian Fellowship, was headed by Marine Lt. Col. Tom Hemmingway, Oliver North’s commanding officer in Vietnam, and who recruited North to the Fellowship.

The Fellowship Property Holdings

C Street Center

The Fellowship operates the 1890 rowhouse located at 133 C Street SE as the C Street Center or “Prayer House.”[57] In addition to hosting the weekly Senate Prayer Breakfast, the C Street Center rents rooms to many United States Senators and Members of Congress have lived at the C Street Center as resident members of the Fellowship, reportedly paying $600 a month in room and board.[6]

Brownback got involved in the Fellowship in 1979, as a summer intern for Bob Dole, when he lived in a residence the group had organized in a sorority house at the University of Maryland. Four years later, fresh out of law school and looking for a political role model, Brownback sought out Frank Carlson, a former Republican senator from Kansas. It was Carlson who, at a 1955 meeting of the Fellowship, had declared the group’s mission to be “Worldwide Spiritual Offensive,” a vision of manly Christianity dedicated to the expansion of American power as a means of spreading the gospel. …

Over the years, Brownback became increasingly active in the Fellowship. … Brownback still meets with the prayer cell every Tuesday evening. He and his “brothers,” he says, are “bonded together, faith and souls.” … Fellowship documents suggest that some 30 senators and 200 congressmen occasionally attend the group’s activities, but no more than a dozen are involved at Brownback’s level.

— Jeff Sharlet
God’s Senator
Rolling Stone
January 25, 2006

The C Street Center hosts the weekly Wednesday morning prayer breakfast for United States Senators, which has been attended by, among others, Senators Sam Brownback, Tom Coburn, James Inhofe, John Ensign and Susan Collins, and a Tuesday night dinner for Members of Congress and other Fellowship associates.

The Fellowship hosted Kevin Rudd, the Prime Minister of Australia, at the C Street Center on March 25, 2009.

The C Street Center also hosts an annual Ambassador Luncheon.[58] In 2006, Ambassadors from Turkey, Pakistan, Jordan, Algeria, Armenia, Egypt, Belarus, Mongolia, Latvia, and Moldova were in attendance.

According to the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue, the C Street Center has 12 bedrooms, nine bathrooms, five living rooms, four dining rooms, three offices, a kitchen, and a small “chapel”.[6] It was formerly used as a convent for nearby St. Peter’s Catholic Church.

The C Street Center property has been exempted from real property taxes because it is classified as a “special purpose” use. District of Columbia law exempts from taxation “buildings belonging to religious corporations or societies primarily and regularly used for religious worship, study, training, and missionary activities” and “buildings belonging to organizations which are charged with the administration, coordination, or unification of activities, locally or otherwise, of institutions or organizations entitled to exemption.”

Until 1994, the Fellowship operated from the “Fellowship House”, a large estate located at 2817 Woodland Drive in Washington, D.C., which was sold to the Ourisman family for more than $2.5 million.

In 1980, Youth with a Mission, Washington, D.C., Inc. (also known as Youth with a Mission National Christian Center, Inc.) purchased a three-story, brick rowhouse 7,914-square-foot (735.2 m2) located at 133 C Street SE, behind the Madison Annex of the Library of Congress and near the United States Capitol. YWAM took a note from Alexandro Palau in the principal amount of $448,873.33 to purchase the property. A modification of the note recorded in 1981 was signed by Fellowship member Ron Boehme in his capacity as President of YWAM, Washington, D.C. and witnessed by Michael Davidson as its secretary.

When asked about YWAM, Richard Carver, a retired Air Force General and the President of the Fellowship Foundation, told the Washington Post that his Fellowship group is affiliated with the house, but that he has never heard of Youth With a Mission of Washington DC and that he did not have a phone number for it. Carver later said that he had spoken with someone who “at one time was involved with the house” and had “heard secondhand” that the organization that runs the house is “subscribing to the no-comment.”[59]

The C Street Center is immediately behind 132 D Street SE, the “safe house” used by former Representative and Republican Majority Leader Tom Delay, R-TX, and several associates.[60] The “house with a red door” had been purchased by the U.S. Family Network, an organization founded by Ed Buckham, a former Delay advisor, in 1999, and housed the offices of Buckham’s Alexander Strategy Group and Delay’s political action committee, Americans for a Republican Majority (ARMPAC).

After the District of Columbia Zoning Administrator intervened, the rowhouse was sold to former Representative Jim Ryun, R-KS, in 2000.

133 C Street was the headquarters of Ralph Nader‘s Congress Watch in the 1970s.[61]

The Woodmont enclave and other properties

The Fellowship owns a number of properties, including the estate known as the Cedars (Doubleday Mansion) located at 2145 24th Street North in the Woodmont neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia.

This property, which was purchased by the Fellowship in 1978, includes two additional residences known as the “well house” and “carriage house,” the latter of which is used by Doug Coe.

The Cedars does not appear on Google Street View.

The Cedars was determined to be a “place of worship” by the Zoning Administrator in 1976.[62]

Coe has described Cedars as a place “committed to the care of the underprivileged, even though it looks very wealthy.” He noted that people might say, “Why don’t you sell a chandelier and help poor people?” Answering his own question, Coe said, “The people who come here have tremendous influence over kids.”

Private Fellowship documents indicate that Cedars was purchased so that “people throughout the world who carry heavy responsibilities could meet in Washington to think together, plan together and pray together about personal and public problems and opportunities.”[6]

The Cedars hosts a prayer breakfast for foreign ambassadors on Tuesday morning.

According to a 1996, Washington Post review of Bad Boy: The Life and Politics of Lee Atwater, Atwater was introduced to Douglas Coe through Patty Presock, Secretary to President Ronald Reagan on Friday, March 16, after a White House breakfast.[63]

Eleven days later, Atwater arrived at the Cedars to meet Doug Coe. “I’ve been in this city for many years now, and I never heard of you,” he said. “Who are you, anyhow?”[63] Coe replied, “Well, we have many mutual friends all over the city. …”[63] Atwater was baptized as a Catholic the following day.[63]

In 1990, YWAM (which also owns the C Street Center) purchased a nearby property located at 2200 24th Street North, known as Potomac Point, for use as a women’s dormitory. Ownership of Potomac Point was transferred to the C Street Center in 1992 and transferred again to the Fellowship Foundation in 2002.

A second property, known as Ivanwald, located at 2224 24th Street North and assessed at $916.000, is used as a men’s dormitory by the Fellowship. This property was purchased by Jerome A. Lewis and Co. in 1986, and sold to the Wilberforce Foundation in 1987. In 2007, the Wilberforce Foundation transferred Ivanwald to the Fellowship Foundation for $1 million. Jerome A. Lewis is a trustee emeritus of the Trinity Forum and the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Petro-Lewis Corporation (now part of Sunoco).[64]

The residence located at 2244 24th North Street, and assessed at $1,458,800, is owed by Merle Morgan, whose wife, Edita, is a director of the Fellowship.[65] The address is identified as the offices of the Fellowship Foundation, and (as well as 2214 North 24th Street) of Morgan Bros. Corp., d/b/a Capitol Publishing, a.k.a. Colorscapes.com.

Fellow Fellowship director and member Fred Heyn and his wife own 2206 24th Street North.

Cedar Point Farm

According to White House records dating from 1978, President Jimmy Carter traveled to Cedar Point Farm by Marine helicopter on November 12, 1978, to attend a Fellowship prayer and discussion group.[15] President Carter placed a call to Menachim Begin while at Cedar Point Farm.[15] The White House records reflect that Cedar Point Farm was owned by former Senator Harold Hughes, President of the Fellowship Foundation.[15]

Cedar Point Farm was later used by the Wilberforce Foundation.

Other Properties

The Fellowship Foundation, Inc. owns the “Southeast White House”, located at 2909 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, which is used by various community-based organizations.[66] This property is assessed at $736,310 for 2009 tax year.[67]

It also owns a two-story, brick apartment building located at 859 19th Street NE, in the Trinidad neighborhood of Washington, D.C., which is assessed at $358,250 for the 2009 tax year.[68]

The Fellowship Foundation Inc. also owns 1701 Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard located near Annapolis, Maryland, and three properties formerly owned by David and Timothy Coe located on Mount Oak Place.


No sign explains the prim and proper red brick house on C Street SE.

Nothing hints at its secrets.

It blends into the streetscape, tucked behind the Library of Congress, a few steps from the Cannon House Office Building, a few more steps to the Capitol. This is just the way its residents want it to be.

— Manuel Roig-Franzia
The Political Enclave That
Dare Not Speak Its Name

Washington Post
June 26, 2009


Although a goal of the Family is to influence politics and a large number of Senators and Representatives live in or are members of the institution, the Family has long been a secretive organization that is not widely understood.[69][70]

Concerned about growing publicity, Fellowship Founder Abraham Vereide wrote a letter in 1966 declaring it time to “submerge the institutional image of [the Family].”[16]

Former Republican Senator William Armstrong has said the group has “made a fetish of being invisible.”

On July 10, 2009, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported that Representative and C Street resident Zach Wamp said in an interview that he and his fellow residents at C Street have agreed not to publicly discuss their living arrangements.[20] When Rachel Maddow repeated the story on her show, Wamp complained, but the Knoxville News Sentinel stated that Wamp did not call them to correct his comment.[71] Maddow responded to Wamp’s complaints on air.[72]

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When asked if he takes part in “fellowship” activities at the C Street Center, fellow resident Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) says he just rents a room, but doesn’t know what goes on there. Stupak refuses to “discuss what goes on there, because I’m not there. … Are there other activities going on there? Yes. But what goes on and things like that, I don’t know. I have my room there.”

Pressed again about whether he’s “involved” in any “activities” at the house, Stupak responded, “I have a room there. And I participate in a Tuesday night dinner once in a while there. … So there is no regimen. There is no group stuff I have to do. … You guys… are grasping at straws that’s not there. I rent a room there… I do not belong to any such group. I don’t know what you are talking about…. I have no affiliation,” he said.[73]

Pete Hoekstra, another Congressman who attended the Tuesday night dinners mentioned by Stupak, described them to The Detroit News: “We’d fellowship, we’d pray, we’d talk about Jesus, and we’d eat.” Hoekstra continued, “In the headiness of Washington, D.C., it’s trying to make sure you keep your head screwed on straight.”[73]

Reverend Rob Schenck, who leads a Bible study on the Hill inspired by C Street, wrote in 2009 that “all ministries in Washington need to protect the confidence of those we minister to, and I’m sure that’s a primary motive for C Street’s low profile.”

But he said, “I think the Fellowship has been just a tad bit too clandestine.”[69][22]

Christian right leader — and Watergate felon — Chuck Colson, converted through the efforts of the Family, has boasted of it as a “veritable underground of Christ’s men all through government.”

— Jeff Sharlet
Sex and power inside
“the C Street House”

Salon.com, July 21, 2009

President Ford, the Watergate, Charles Colson, and the Fellowship

On August 8, 1974, the day before then Vice President Gerald Ford was sworn in as President of the United States, two members of the Fellowship, Representatives Albert Quie and John J. Rhodes (R-Arizona), met with the Vice-President at a special “prayer meeting” on Capitol Hill. The previous day, Congressman Rhodes had accompanied two other Republican congressional leaders to the White House to tell Nixon to speak with him about resignation.

After Nixon resigned, some Fellowship members, including Charles Colson, made attempts to try to get Nixon to join their group as a way to salvage his legacy. Nixon would have nothing to do with them.

On August 26, 1974, Time magazine published an article entitled “The God Network in Washington,”[74] relating to President Gerald Ford’s involvement in the prayer network known as the Fellowship, and his long-time prayer group “cell,” which included House Minority Leader John Rhodes, Congressman Albert Quie, and former Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird.

In a document entitled “Our Common Agreement as a Core Group,” members of the Family are instructed to form a “core group,” or a “cell,” which is defined as “a publicly invisible but privately identifiable group of companions.” A document called “Thoughts on a Core Group” explains that “Communists use cells as their basic structure. The mafia operates like this, and the basic unit of the Marine Corps is the four man squad. Hitler, Lenin, and many others understood the power of a small core of people.”

The article notes that Quie was in a prayer group with Senator Harold Hughes, who later became the President of the Fellowship Foundation, Senator Mark Hatfield, and Charles Colson, who by then had been convicted for obstruction of justice.

Colson, who had been meeting with Douglas Coe, believed that he should plead guilty to on the charges for which the Watergate grand jury indicted him. On June 21, 1974, he was sentenced to one to three years and on July 8 began his service at Fort Holabird prison in Maryland.[75]

James W. McCord, Jr., another Watergate conspirator, also claims that sermons in suburban Washington’s Fourth Presbyterian Church, which has close ties to the Fellowship, influenced his decision not to plead guilty and remain silent. At the time, the Fourth Presbyterian Church was led by another Fellowship member, Senior Pastor Dr. Richard C. Halverson. Reverend Halverson served as the Chaplain to the U.S. Senate from February 2, 1981 until December 31, 1994, and was identified as the “leader of the prayer breakfast movement” by Senator Chris Dodd in official remarks on December 12, 1995.[76] In fact, Coe, Hatfield, Laird and Rhodes attended Fourth Presbyterian Church, where they met weekly to set policy.

Jeb Stuart Magruder joined one of the small “covenant” prayer groups started by Rev. Louis Evans Jr. of Washington’s National Presbyterian Church to feed the “spiritual hunger” in Washington. Magruders’ wife, Gail, joined another such group also attended by Mark Hatfield’s wife Antoinette.

Senator Mark O. Hatfield

In 1991, Fellowship member Mark O. Hatfield came under a Senate ethics investigation and a Federal grand jury probe after he made $300,000 from real estate deals involving the sale and purchase of properties from Paul N. Temple. Among the transactions involved were the 1981 sale of a house in Accokeek, Maryland to Paul N. Temple, which Mr. Temple resold four years later at a $90,000 loss.[77] According to the New York Times, another transaction involved Hatfield’s purchase of a cooperative apartment in Washington from Mr. Temple in 1981 that he sold the later that year for a profit of as much as $100,000.[78]

This particular house, of course, draws such attention because of the morality preached by its inhabitants. It’s not just what these guys did — and by the way, what were they thinking? — it’s what they said about other guys who did the same things that makes them world-class hypocrites as well as womanizers. And to have such a spate of sex stories all at the same time really can’t help but get our attention.

— Cokie and Steve Roberts
Must guys be guys at now-infamous C Street House?
State Journal-Register
July 28, 2009

Extra-marital affairs and other unethical conduct of Fellowship associates and close friends

So far, three prominent Republicans associated with the Fellowship have been reported to have engaged in extra-marital affairs. Two, Senator Ensign and Governor Sanford, were considering running for President in 2012.

The affairs of Senator Ensign and then-Congressman Pickering, which were allegedly known to the Family several months before becoming public, took place while they were living at the C Street Center.

Ensign, Sanford and Pickering all voted to impeach Bill Clinton, and Ensign and Sanford are on record as calling for Clinton to resign over his affair with Monica Lewinsky.[79][80]

Senator John Ensign
John EnsignSenator John Ensign, a Fellowship member and longtime resident of the C Street Center, admitted he had an extra-marital affair with a staffer. The announcement by Ensign of his extramarital affair brought additional public scrutiny of the Fellowship and the C Street Center, as Mr. Ensign lived there alongside other high ranking politicians such as Senator Tom Coburn.[81]

What gets lost in the disgusting details of Ensign’s adulterous affair, Mark Sanford’s (an associate member of the Family) lust for an Argentine, and former Congressman Chip Pickering’s adulterous bonking on-site at the C Street “Christian fellowship house” is something that Maddow has repeatedly come back to: these men don’t believe they are responsible to moral or governmental laws. If they deviate from the “righteous path,” God is only testing their strength, because they are the ones divinely chosen to lead — and it is weakness to succumb to remorse about one’s “misbehavior.”

— American Atheists
Lawmakers Part of Secret “Christian Mafia” in Washington?
Opposing Views, July 28, 2009

“King David,” David Coe went on, “liked to do really, really bad things.” He chuckled. “Here’s this guy who slept with another man’s wife — Bathsheba, right? — and then basically murders her husband. And this guy is one of our heroes.” David shook his head. “I mean, Jiminy Christmas, God likes this guy! What,” he said, “is that all about?”

The answer, we discovered, was that King David had been “chosen.”

[David Coe, Doug Coe's son and heir apparent] asked a young man who’d put himself, body and soul, under the Family’s authority, “Let’s say I hear you raped three little girls. What would I think of you?” The man guessed that Coe would probably think that he was a monster. “No,” answered Coe, “I wouldn’t.” Why? Because, as a member of the Family, he’s among what Family leaders refer to as the “new chosen.” If you’re chosen, the normal rules don’t apply.

— Jeff Sharlet
Sex and power inside
“the C Street House”

Salon.com, July 21, 2009

Senator Coburn, together with Timothy Coe and David Coe, attempted to intervene to end Ensign’s affair in February 2008, prior to the affair becoming public, including by meeting with the husband of Ensign’s mistress and encouraging Ensign to write a letter to his mistress breaking off the affair.[1][82][83] Senator Ensign was driven to Federal Express from C Street Center to post the letter, shortly after which Ensign called to tell his mistress to ignore it. [1][84][85]

Senator Coburn refuses to speak about his involvement in Ensign’s affair on the grounds of “privilege” because he is a licensed physician in the State of Oklahoma (OB/GYN) and an ordained deacon.[86]

Mark Sanford

Governor Mark Sanford

In June 2009, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, a Fellowship member and former Congressman from 1995 to 2001, admitted to having an extramarital affair and said that months prior he had sought counseling at the C Street Center.[20] While attempting to refuse federal funds to benefit the citizens of South Carolina on what he claimed to be principled grounds, Governor Sanford was using state funds to fly first class to visit his lover in Argentina.[87]

During his last secret trip to visit his lover in Argentina in June 2009 when he told his staff that he was hiking on the Appalachian trial, Governor Sanford disappeared for four days and did not answer 15 calls from his chief of staff, Scott English or let his family know where he was on Father’s Day.[88] It is unclear whether the Family knew or suspected the whereabouts of Governor Sanford during his disappearance because Governor Sanford has admitted that he sought the counsel of the Family at least several months prior.

Prior to be elected Governor of South Carolina, Sanford was a frequent visitor to C Street when he served in Congress.[89] Sanford reportedly turned down his Congressional living allowance while serving in Washington, choosing instead to sleep in his office.[90]

Chip Pickering

Former Representative Chip Pickering

The wife of Chip Pickering, R-Miss. (1998-2008), filed a lawsuit against her husband’s alleged mistress, making the former six-term Republican Congressman from Mississippi the third politician associated with the Capitol Hill “Christian Fellowship” home to be embroiled in a sex scandal.[89][91]

The lawsuit alleges Pickering restarted a relationship with Elizabeth Creekmore Byrd, his college sweetheart, while he was “a United States congressman prior to and while living in the well-known C Street Complex in Washington, D.C.”[89][91]

Senator David Durenberger

In 1986, former Senator David Durenberger retreated to the Cedars when he began having marital problems.[6]

William Aramony

Former Chairman of the United Way, William Aramony, was seen at Cedars the night he learned he was facing criminal charges for embezzling money from his organization.[6]

References to Hitler and the Mafia

As reported by Andrea Mitchell and Jim Popkin for NBC News, Fellowship leader Doug Coe repeatedly urges a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that he compares to the blind devotion that Adolf Hitler demanded from his followers.[19]

SHARLET: They are really interested in the biblical concept that whether you are good or bad it doesn’t matter, what matters is whether you are chosen. That’s part of the Hitler Concept. It doesn’t matter whether Hitler was good or bad, Hitler was chosen for leadership. That was part of God’s plan. Nothing happens that isn’t part of God’s plan.

— Anthony Lappé
Meet ‘The Family’
Guerrilla News Network
June 13, 2003

Coe has stated “Hitler, Goebbels and Himmler were three men. Think of the immense power these three men had, these nobodies from nowhere,” and later in the same sermon: “Jesus said, ‘You have to put me before other people. And you have to put me before yourself.’ Hitler, that was the demand to be in the Nazi party. You have to put the Nazi party and its objectives ahead of your own life and ahead of other people.”[19]

Doug Coe also refers to the Fellowship as the “Christian Mafia” and is on record saying that he tries to make the group act like the Mafia because the more invisible you can make your organization, the more influence it will have.[92]

Affiliations with Dictators and Oppressive Regimes

The Family has encouraged the U.S. government to establish closer ties with:

• During the 1960s, anti-communist (and dictatorial) elements within Africa’s postcolonial leadership including Haile Selassie of Ethiopia and elements in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya;

• Brazilian dictator General Artur da Costa e Silva who, with Family support, was overseeing regular fellowship groups for Latin American leaders;

• Indonesian General Suharto;

• Salvadoran General Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova, convicted by a Florida jury of the torture of thousands; and

• Honduran General Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, himself an evangelical minister, who was linked to both the Central Intelligence Agency and death squads before he was assasinated.[6][16]

• Vides Casanova was invited to the 1984 National Prayer Breakfast, along with Gen. Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, then the head of the Honduran armed forces.

“We work with power where we can,” the Family’s leader, Doug Coe, says, “build new power where we can’t.”[16]

In 1999, Brownback … teamed up with two Fellowship associates — former Sen. Don Nickles and the late Sen. Strom Thurmond — to demand a criminal investigation of a liberal group called Americans United for Separation of Church and State. [In 2000, Rep. Joe Pitts, a Fellowship brother, and Sen. Tom Coburn] joined Brownback in stumping for the Houses of Worship Act to allow tax-free churches to endorse candidates.

— Jeff Sharlet
God’s Senator
Rolling Stone
January 25, 2006

Attack on Separation of Church and State

In its numerous attempts to influence government policies, its secrecy and involvement in political scandals, its tax free status as a Church, its extensive links to America’s leading politicians, its links to an organization in YWAM whose founder has stated as a goal exerting a dominating influence over the US government, and the favors the Family regularly doles out to politicians including below market living accommodations in Washington, D.C., the operation of the Family raises questions regarding the separation of church and state.

At least one Family member, Senator Pryor, stated that through the Family he had learned that the separation of church and state was a sort of secular exaggeration and that “Jesus did not come to bring peace. Jesus came to take over.”[92]

I have shared the brothers’ meals and their work and their games. I have been numbered among them and have been given a part in their ministry. I have wrestled with them and showered with them and listened to their stories: I know which man resents his father’s fortune and which man succumbed to the flesh of a woman not once but twice and which man dances so well he is afraid of being taken for a fag. I know what it means to be a “brother,” which is to say that I know what it means to be a soldier in the army of God.


Jeff Sharlet lived with the Family for a month, and wrote a book and articles regarding its secretive nature, connection to disreputable regimes, and dedication to power.[4][93]

Rachel Maddow has run a multi-story expose on the organization’s influence on American politics.[94][72] In addition to Chip Pickering, John Ensign, and Mark Sanford, on July 18, 2009, she identified Congressman Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) as a member and interviewed Jeff Sharlet about a “spiritual counseling” session he witnessed between Tiahrt and Coe, in which Tiahrt expressed concerns that abortion should be banned in order to better compete with the Muslim birthrate, and Coe told Tiahrt that he was thinking on too small a scale.

Coe told Tiahrt to work for “Jesus Plus Nothing… the totalitarianism of Christ.” According to Sharlet, Coe then gave Tiahrt his usual roster of examples of totalitarians who had great power: Hitler, Pol Pot, Osama bin Laden, etc.[95]

See also:

Oxford Group
Frank Buchman


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  95. ^ The Rachel Maddow Show, July 18, 2009, MSNBC.

Further reading:

Pentagon’s radio, TV czar faces charges of corruption
Jack Anderson and Les Whitten, The Free-Lance Star, January 13, 1977

Holy Watergate! The Missing Eighteen and One Half Hour Tapes! Gold Lake Secrecy Pact Discovered in Conversations with Doug Coe’s Secretary and Art Lindsley
Constance Cumbey, New Age Monitor, July, 1988

Promise Keepers’ march motivated by fundamentalist beliefs
Frederick Clarkson, PublicEye.org, 1997

James Jesus Angleton and the Kennedy Assassination
Part 1
Part 2
Lisa Pease, Probe, 2000

Showing Faith in Discretion
Lisa Getter, Los Angeles Times, September 27, 2002

Congressional group house is subsidized by religious group, records show
Lara Jakes Jordan , AP (via Rick Ross), April 19, 2003

N.Va. Neighbors Up in Arms Over Secretive Enclave
Annie Gowen, Washington Post (via Rick Ross), December 8, 2003

The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America: Douglas Coe
Time, February 7, 2005

Hillary’s Prayer: Hillary Clinton’s Religion and Politics
Kathryn Joyce and Jeff Sharlet, Mother Jones, September 1, 2007

Hillary’s Nasty Pastorate
Barbara Ehrenreich, The Nation, March 19, 2008

“The Family” and its use of cells, explained
dogemperor, Newsvine, April 6, 2008

The Harmonic Convergence of Evangelicalism and Noetic Science
Constance Cumbey, May 31, 2008

Following up on “The Family”: Six Questions for Jeff Sharlet
Bill Wasik, Harper’s, June 2, 2008

Worse Than Fascists: Christian Political Group ‘The Family’ Openly Reveres Hitler
Lindsay Beyerstein, AlterNet, June 12, 2008

Secrets of a powerful Family
Ian Munro, WAtoday.com, Australia (via ReligionNewsBlog), June 13, 2008

Imperial Jesus: ‘Family’ author Jeff Sharlet on the secret history of the other Christian right
Steve Perry, Minnesota Independent, June 17, 2008

Revealed: The Sanford/Ensign Connection
Zachary Roth, TPMMuckraker, June 24, 2009

The Fellowship, Governor Mark Sanford’s Secretive Christian Landlords On C Street
Cindy Casares, Guanabee, June 25, 2009

‘Family’: Fundamentalism, Friends In High Places
NPR, July 1, 2009

John Ensign Tied To “Do-it-Yourself Exorcism” Movement
Bruce Wilson, Huffington Post, July 14, 2009

Six Degrees of C Street
Talking Points Memo, July 15, 2009

Zach Wamp caught up in national controversy
Andy Cher, Chattanooga Times (via Rick Ross), July 15, 2009

The Christian Mafia, Ensign, and Coburn
Wayne Madsen, Online Journal, July 15, 2009

CEDARS – where the men are handsome and the women are….
Talking Points Memo, July 16, 2009

Link: Renaissance Weekend & Prayer Breakfast
Talking Points Memo, July 17, 2009

Pickering Affair Raises New Questions About ‘Revolving Door’ Of Secretive Fellowship Group
Lisa Fang, Think Progress, July 17, 2009

C Street Properties in Arlington
Talking Points Memo, July 18, 2009

C Street Sex Scandal
Mike Licht, NotionsCapital, July 18, 2009

“The Family” as a “Pyramidal Coercive Group”
Talking Points Memo, July 18, 2009

Republican Sex Scandal meets Spirituality on C Street
Lisa Lerer, Politico, July 20, 2009

GOP watch: Sanford, Palin, C Street
Mark Murray, MSNBC, July 20, 2009

Rep. McIntyre acknowledges ties to secretive Christian group
Amanda Greene, StarNewsOnline.com, July 24, 2009

Ballad of Doug Coe – Prayer Buddy or Pastor of The Family?
Talking Points Memo, July 27, 2009

The Fellowship Cult Owns Rep. Tiahrt (R-KS)
Colin Curtis, DailyKos, July 27, 2009

Larry Beinhart’s Body Politic: Then There’s Republican Sex
Larry Beinhart, Chronogram, July 27, 2009

Will the truth really set you free?
Bill Minor, DeSoto Times Tribune, July 29, 2009

Zach Wamp and the C Street Band
Frank N. Carlson, Metro Pulse, July 29, 2009

Summer of Denial
Saul Landau, CounterPunch, July 30, 2009

C Street house photos
arcadian , Democratic Underground, August 3, 2009